A June 2005 study by the Center for Academic Integrity (CAI) of 50,000 undergraduates revealed that 70 percent of college students admitted to engaging in some form of cheating; worse still, 77 percent of college students didn't think that Internet plagiarism was a "serious" issue. This disturbing finding gets at a grave problem in terms of Internet and culture: The digital revolution is creating a generation of cut-and-paste burglars who view all content on the Internet as common property.
This warped definition of intellectual property and ownership isn't confined to students and digerati alone.
These days, even the clergy are turning into plagiarists. With sites like sermoncentral.com, sermonspice.com, and desperatepreacher.com offering easily downloadable transcripts of sermons, more and more pastors, according to the Wall Street Journal, are delivering recycled sermons, almost verbatim, without crediting their original author. "There's no sense reinventing the wheel," says Florida pastor Brian Moon, who admits to delivering a sermon that he bought for $10 on another pastor's Web site. "If you got something that's a good product, why go out and beat your head against the wall and try to come up with it yourself?"1 In our Web 2.0 world, it's just so easy to use other people's creative efforts; even our priests, whom we expect to be paragons of virtue, are doing it.
- Keen, Andrew; "The Cult of the Amateur", Doubleday Ed. 2007; pp. 143 - 144.